BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Labor

Another strong result for Labor from a major pollster pushes them to giddy new heights on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which has now branched out into leader satisfaction and preferred prime minister.

A strong result for Labor from Newspoll sees blue and red cross paths on the BludgerTrack two-party preferred aggregate, with Labor seizing its first substantial lead since the aggregate opened for business late last year. Labor has also been boosted to one shy of an absolute majority on the seat projection, with the Coalition crashing to 70. The state breakdowns find Labor back to 2010 territory in Victoria, and doing rather a lot better than that in Queensland and Western Australia.

While mostly the work of Newspoll, part of the shift to Labor is the result of a modelling tweak to deal with the particular difficulty posed by Essential Research, which instead of favouring a particular party over time appears to have a bias towards stability. Bias adjustments based on its pre-election performance have accordingly been correcting for a lean to Labor that disappeared together with the Coalition’s polling ascendancy. So I will instead be plotting the trend of Essential’s deviation from the model’s results, with the bias corrections adjusting over time.

The other big news on the BludgerTrack front is that it is now tracking leadership ratings as well as voting intention. Such data is available fortnightly from Newspoll and monthly from Nielsen and Essential Research, which at this state leaves a fairly shallow pool. It is nonetheless clear from the sidebar that meaningful trends are already evident. I am excluding from consideration the personal ratings from ReachTEL, whose refusal to give respondents an uncommitted option leads to idiosyncratic results.

In other news, Crikey subscribers might care to enjoy my article yesterday on the inquiry into the missing WA Senate ballots.

UPDATE: Kevin Bonham offers an excellent review of what the polls say, and what they mean (and don’t mean).

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,310 comments on “BludgerTrack: 51.2-48.8 to Labor”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Abbott: “If shit doesn’t happen we’ll make it happen!”
    I don’t know about “banana moment” but it certainly was a “pompous dickhead moment”.
    The outlook is not good – and we have these clowns in charge!
    Some troubles in a Liberal incubator.
    George Brandis SC A-G DH gets to work.
    And the Royal Commission hearings continue today.
    It’s official. There is zero practical knowledge of the performance of the lynchpin copper network under FTTN conditions. How can reasonable analysis of establishment and operation cost be done under these circumstances?

  2. Section 2 . . .

    Alan Moir calls out Abbott and Hockey on the Holden decision.
    David Pope conflates Abbott’s problems with manufacturing and the environment.
    And David Rowe does the same.
    Ron Tandberg suggests the boats haven’t been stopped.

  3. And from the Land of the Free –

    Look at the deceptiveness of this extraordinary praying mantis.
    Some cartoons on the Repugs at Christmas.
    Pope Francis makes an interesting point – Extreme Christians have “an illness”. It’s only a matter of where the line id drawn.

  4. Good Morning

    Stupid dries argue no subsidies for one industry and ignore taxpayers money spent on rich mining companies that are not intensive job creators.


  5. “@mjrowland68: Opposition Leader @billshortenmp tells #breakfastnews he doesn’t think the ABC is biased. ‘But you could be nicer to me’…”

  6. Morning all, thanks BK. Bludgertrackis a handy beast. The trend is certainly Labor’s friend. I would love to see an SA state level poll before christmas.
    [Don’t tell me that, having run Holden out of town, this Govt is now going to throw money at Toyota to make it stay]
    That would be interesting. Jay Weatherall should ask that question.

    Having said that Holden closing was inevitable (I was right) and that the extra assistance sought was more than it was worth, the Liberals have certainly made a mess of the politics. They have come across as callous and uninterested in the fate of the workers, which is not appealing. It is also fairly close to the truth for most of them, Truss and Turnbull aside.

  7. Interesting that this Govt says that Toyota is a great little business. But that great little business may now go to the wall because of the demise of Holden. So the money the Govt could have spent on Holden will probably have to be spent on Toyota.
    It’s like a doctor saying that if he operates now, he can save both lungs. But instead, he decides to wait until you’ve lost a long and then he’ll perform the same operation on the surviving one.
    I note that the AFR (Kitney and Tingle) have been far more brutal on this govt than the SMH.

  8. Or, to extend the analogy, maybe the doctor now has to let the patient die because performing an operation to save one lung will be admission that he could have saved the other.
    Truly, this Govt is the dregs of the business sector.

  9. A good article here on the needfor a new growth agendain the wakeof Holden leaving.

    I suggested a few reforms last night. MB mentioned the absurd waste of $5 billion per annum that is negative gearing. That money could be invested in creating new jobs, rather than inflating our real estate market ntil we become uncompetitive. We subsidise speculation and tax real investment. Pretty dumb.

    Have a good day all.

  10. Morning all

    [The death of GM Holden as a car manufacturer in Australia deserved to be treated as a serious challenge for the nation – and the economies of two states in particular – rather than a game of ‘‘hot potato’’.

    But when that long-anticipated death was finally announced on Wednesday afternoon, the focus of the federal government seemed more on ensuring it was not seen as culpable for the decision than on dealing with its consequences.]

  11. The push for higher wages has been driven largely by the ever-increasing cost of housing, either ownership or renting. This is a supply and demand thing. We have a significant shortage of housing stock, public and private.
    There needs to be a long term policy to mobilise Australia into collapsing the demand/pricing of the housing market to take the pressure off the need to maintain reasonable disposable income and therefor offset the need for wages increases. It would also create a labour demand for many years.
    But long term thining isn’t the strong suit of this mob.

  12. I missed qt yesterday. As per the article I just linked…..

    [It was, therefore, a breathtaking political mistake to allow the answer to that question to be delivered to Parliament by a shadow minister.]

    To clarify. Labor asked the govt a question about Holden leaving before the govt made the announcement themselves?

  13. Kevin

    The doctor analogy does not hold. Doctors are supposed to care about the patient, and take an oath to do no harm. Our government just wanted to get their hands on the scalpel. Must go.

  14. William

    [The other big news on the BludgerTrack front is that it is now tracking leadership ratings as well as voting intention.]

    Nice move.

  15. The bottom line is that the mining industry caused the aussie dollar to soar, and made car manufacturing conditions even more difficult. To top it off, the mining industry gets billions of dollars. In fuel subsidies, and of course the coalition are going to assist them even further by abolishing the mining tax.

  16. I remember a few days ago saying over the Christmas Break the negative talk around the barbie was going to set the fate of the Abbott Government.

    Well now in Howard speak that negative talk is a BBW stopper.

  17. BK

    Thank you for your Dawn Patrol Sitrep.

    As often is the case, Rowe’s cartoon takes a bit of deciphering. Gina as giant jellyfish appeals.

    But the piece-de-resistance just has to be the two Werribee Trout floating on the roiling waters of Rowe’s vision of Abbott’s Dystopia.

    Could they be an unsubtle reference to shit happening?

  18. BK

    The ‘social housing’ thing.

    It’s always been a difference between the UK and here.

    There it’s high on the list for local council’s list of ‘things to do’.

    Even in the City of London (a Corporation with big Real Estate holdings in almost every country) – the very trendy area where I have a bit still has quite a number of council tenants (those who survived Cripplegate in WW2 or their descendants).

  19. On twitter

    [Holden’s Mike Devereux has confirmed GM made the decision to pull out of Australia while watching @JoeHockey yell at them in parliament.]

  20. Re BK @20

    This graph from Wikipedia of median house prices in Melbourne vs the average wage tells it all. In the 1960s a single income family could afford a modest house. Now the mortgage absorbs all of a second household income.

  21. poroti


    Werribee Trout

    I thought they were blind mullet]

    Apparently taxonomists have shied away from making a final determination.

  22. I saw this idiocy at the time and commented on it…

    It was the text message that sounded the death knell for Holden as a manufacturer in Australia.

    ”Are you seeing this question time attack on Holden?” read the text message, sent by a company insider.

    It was sent by one of the company’s key strategists at 2.30pm on Tuesday, as Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Treasurer Joe Hockey were ripping the car maker to shreds during parliamentary question time.

    In a seemingly calculated performance – one designed to flush out GM’s intentions and back the car maker into a corner – the Treasurer said it was time for Holden to ”come clean” and be ”fair dinkum” with the Australian people over its future in the country. ”Either you’re here or you’re not,” Mr Hockey said.

    Read more:

    Now, it turns out, they got the result they wanted.

  23. I expect to see Abbott and his cronies come out today blaming the Unions for the Holden closure.

    Business groups and the Liberal shrills and trolls will jump on board

    This will be the start of a campaign for the introduction of Work Choices under some other title.

  24. here we go

    desperate (but predictable – well, I predicted the libs would try to de-fund the ALP by going after the unions) stuff from a desperate government. this is an attack on democracy.

    I am sure the commissioner appointed will be a far right lib hack, and reporting will be just before the next election is called. I am sure shorten’d union days will come under great scrutiny – let’s hope his faction’s rumoured branch-stacking isn’t too obviously funded out of union slush funds.

    I agree that the unions need a looking at, and labor should have done something when in power to ensure better governance, accountability and less potential for corruption – but now we’ll get a star chamber inquiry that is entirely politically motivated, aimed at finding information or rumour damaging to labor. the Oz will pick up and mis-report any hint of corruption leading to labor MPs – and these are sure to exist.

    it will be followed by legislation to reduce union funding of the ALP (e.g. “any funding paid to a political party must be approved by 75% of members in an AEC run plebiscite”)

    This announcement explains why the Oz has again been reporting old news on slush funds – further evidence they are in collusion with the LNP. Note how often they run with an issue/story just ahead of a LNP announcement, and how often they’ll break the LNPs story – often as a way of testing the waters without the government actually committing to anything.

    I hope Labor learns from this and isn’t so meek when next in government – a royal commission in the the AWB Iraq scandal or the Dubai scab labour conspiracy would have been interesting. Terms of inqury for a royal commission into the funding of ‘Think Tanks’ and Lib fund-raising fronts; and maybe one looking at political bias within the media should be drafted for next time.

    I think this royal commission will be hugely damaging to the ALP – especially in NSW and WA, but also Victoria – shorten’s faction is likely deeply mired in dodgy practices (he, Feeny, Marles and Conroy have been involved in this sort of stuff since student politics days, and Conroy has already admitted having slush funds). I think this might save abbott’s bacon – they’ll be able to create enough of a stink around shorten and other senior labor members to keep NSW voting strongly lib (I can’t see NSW coming back to labor in a hurry anyhow – unless labor uses this to purge itself of the Right factionalism and union dominance – and there is little chance of that).

  25. BB

    Of course it was the result they wanted. What i would like is for Abbott and his cronies to come clean as to whose interest they are working for, cos it is not for the citizenry.

  26. AussieAchmed @ 40
    [I expect to see Abbott and his cronies come out today blaming the Unions for the Holden closure.]

    It will be a L.I.E. The AMWU negotiated a deal with GMH (and I assume Toyota too) which will reduce manufacturing costs by $3,750 per vehicle. The workers were prepared to fight for their jobs, their government wasn’t.

  27. guytaur

    [Abbott in hiding. NewsBreakfast unable to get government politicians on to face the music]
    Saw Abbott on Sunrise a few minutes ago. He looked, and sounded, absolutlely terrible.

    So sad

  28. It’s pretty amazing that, according to stories, the whole cabinet (is that 21?) except for MacFarlane was all for letting Holden go. Shows just how right-wing and stupid this mob are.

  29. Or to use another analogy re Holden.
    You’ve got a house that needs renovation. Do you:
    (a) Carry out those renovations; or
    (b) Torch the joint and then try to build a whole new house (despite the fact that you haven’t even got any plans, don’t know how much it will costs, don’t have council permission, etc etc).
    I would chose (a); this govt chose (b).


    It sounds about right . There have been a couple of PBers in the last couple of days noting MacFarlane looking uncomfortable.

  31. Morning all.

    ABC news online still has reportage about the leaked McTernan emails, yet I didn’t once see it report on Newspoll.

    Meanwhile Abbott is going to meet with the SA and Vic premiers about Holden’s departure. Hopefully he’ll be discussing federal assistance for re-training and redeployment. Although with Liberal leaders you never know.

  32. Listening to SKY. The Liberals are still running the lie that the carbon price added $400 to cost of a car.

    This has been fact checked and found to be an at best an exaggeration.

    Holden made no reference to the carbon price having anything to do with their decision.

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